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Cold weather gear question... Clothes or rubs??? Help!!(15 posts)

Cold weather gear question... Clothes or rubs??? Help!!kushogun
Dec 3, 2001 10:01 PM
Hello all. I am entering my first winter of cold weather off-season training/riding. It is getting to the point where I am cold all the way through my ride due to a lack of quality cold weather clothing. Currently I ride with Castelli knee warmers, Assos Prosline bib shorts, polypro undershirt, short sleeve jersey, Assos armwarmers, and standard PI gloves. I am an average guy who usually doesn't overheat (sweat a bunch) or who are extremely cold either. I am looking for an outfit where I could ride on an overcast day anywhere from lower 40's to mid 50's without getting clammy, while staying warm(tough I know). I see the pros riding in cold weather all the time with shorts and armwarmers. Are they using thermal rubs, and if so, do they really work(I assume so since the peloton is seemingly using them)? I am not one for a bunch of layers (minimalist) so the rubs sounds right up my alley. Plus I am a college student so I can't drop $500 on winter clothes. I hate riding on the rollers indoors, too boring, so I am trying to get out even when cooler. Should I get full tights to go over the bibs, or just get leg warmers? Should I get a full jacket, or an Assos airbloc vest? The idea of a jacket scares me as there would be too much material. Any good experience with a minimal jacket that fits like a jersey and still retains some heat? Or should I totally forget the expensive clothes and just rub the thermal rubs and oils on any exposed skin? Anyone with experience with both, your opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and happy riding everyone.
re: Cold weather gear question... Clothes or rubs??? Help!!tr
Dec 3, 2001 11:01 PM
Get a med to heavy vest and layer underneath it with whatever weight you feel you need. I use knickers myself with windstopper socks instead of heavy booties, unless it is real cold. I have never used any, but i think the thermal rub is a good idea and like you said, the pros use these all the time. If i could only pick one piece it would be the vest with the knickers a close second. The vest will not overheat you like a heavy jacket for the temps you are talking about and i use kneewarmers in the early fall and spring and knickers in the fall/winter because they tend to keep me a little warmer than the knee warmers. I have several vests and consider them to be very valuable and versatile and you can fit alot of them in your jersey pocket if they are medium or less weight.
re: Cold weather gear question... Clothes or rubs??? Help!!scrappy from Spokane
Dec 4, 2001 12:20 AM
Patagonia or similar makes great long john tops that wick well and one or two can be layered under a wind tight vest or long sleeve jersey or heavy cotton (gasp!) t-shirt. Add full finger gloves, cross-county ski ear muffs (from Swix, fit under helmet, cost $12), heavy weight tights, and plastic lunch bags for the toes (inside the shoes, extremely cheap and disposable, won't get your feet wet for up to 25 miles depending on temps), I can comfortably ride at 25 degrees F if it's dry. The hardest thing to keep warm with this set up is the stomach (you can always add a piece of saran wrap over your torso/gonads to block the wind if it's really cold). Below 18 F beware of the grease in your hubs getting too viscous for easy pedaling (this is survival riding anyway). Have fun!
re: Cold weather gear question... Clothes or rubs??? Help!!John-d
Dec 4, 2001 1:35 AM
I get my stuff from Groundeffect.

Check out their vests, Pace: Jetson: or even the Vespa.

As an aside indoor training may be boring, but so are frost damaged lungs!

Start with a vesttarwheel
Dec 4, 2001 5:28 AM
A vest is the single most useful piece of cycling clothing I've discovered in recent years. I use mine even during the summer on chilly mornings, it keeps me warm down into the 40s, and it's easy to remove and rollup into a back pocket when the temperatures warm up. I have the Pearl Izumi model, but I'm sure other brands would work just as well. Get something brightly colored (or Illuminite) so it can double as an eyecatcher.

If you get a full jacket, don't make the mistake I made and get something too big. My jacket (Performance) is a nice jacket with lots of zippers you can open for ventilation. But it's just too big and catches too much wind.
re: Salvation Army/Good Willdzrider
Dec 4, 2001 5:33 AM
Look for a thin, tight fitting wool sweater. Put a wind breaker over it - Hind makes (made anyway) a nice one.

I like leg warmers and mountain bike shorts in the temp. range you describe. YOu can take the leg warmers off and the baggy layer on the shorts works to break the wind.
few suggestions5ive
Dec 4, 2001 6:45 AM
I agree with Tarwheel. A vest is a great for this type of situation. Since you appear to be an ASSOS fan, and looking for a "jacket that fits like a jersey", I have another suggestion for you -- ASSOS Prosline Airblock Jacket. It is exactly what you described. It fits very snug (runs a little small), great wind protection, quality construction you'd expect from ASSOS, and 5 pockets in the back. Simply put, if my closet catches fire, this is the only article of clothing that I'll grab. It's that good. Hope this helps.
Gotta shop around....cory
Dec 4, 2001 8:50 AM
Regarding the rubs, first: Don't discount the superstition factor. Unlike driveline parts and whatnot, which the pros CAN'T use if they don't work, there's no drawback to using an ineffective rub. You don't have to be a genius to ride a bicycle, and if somebody hears a thing works, he's likely to try it and believe, especially if he gets it for free. That's from a neighbor of mine who's a physician and a year-round ultra-distance cyclist--he says the rubs are only marginally effective at best. He's tried them several times, and says he can't feel any difference after the first few minutes, and by then you're heated up anyway.
As for clothing, cycling-specific stuff tends to be expensive, and unless you're into stylin', you don't need it. I just bought a Polartec 200 vest with windproof liner for $9.99 and a Nike microfiber jacket (the shell layer, light, water-resistant and breathable) for $17.99 at Ross. List prices are $45 and $65. With some Patagonia "loose tights" ($35 off a clearance table; $80 in the Patagonia catalog), gloves and a skullie under my helmet, I'm good to 30 degrees. If it gets colder, the wind pants go over the tights and the balaclava goes under the helmet. Or I stay home.
rubs by girl with no clothesnm
Dec 4, 2001 7:54 AM
Earbands--the secret weaponTrent in WA
Dec 4, 2001 8:31 AM
I'm a big fan of earbands for keeping warm in cold weather--they're light, cheap, and really effective. I think a vest, some sort of knee protection, and an earband is all the extra protection you'll need for the temperature range you describe.

And glove linersRich Clark
Dec 5, 2001 3:59 PM
Yes, it's amazing how warm you can feel just by covering exposed extremities -- ears, hands, forearms, legs -- with even a thin layer. If you add a vest if necessary to keep your core temperature up in the face of a chill wind, you can feel warm even in a single layer of clothing even down to the high 40's (YMMV).

If you lack hair on your head, wear a cap or a skullcap or a headsweats or something, too.

What the heck's a thermal rub? nmbill
Dec 4, 2001 12:41 PM
Thermal rub?filtersweep
Dec 4, 2001 4:30 PM
Explain how a rub can elevate body (or limb) temperature... I'm sure it is the same premise as taking a few nips out of a bottle- you "feel" warm as you freeze to death.

I live in MN where it really gets cold- "winter riding" is very relative. There is simply too much snow to ride... 40s to 50s sound like a great ride temp... at that temp I wear a heavy LS jersey with a LS dri-fit undershirt and some long bibs- at that WARM temp you don't even need full finger gloves or anything over the ears... might not even need boots.

I've seen all sorts of idiots wearing shorts in 40 degree rides- seems like a recipe for muscle problems. A jacket IS nice at 40 and below, especially when it is windy, but it is way too hot at warmer temps when you might normally wear a jacket to walk to the store...
Thermal rub?Lone Gunman
Dec 5, 2001 7:07 AM
Mineral ice, something with menthal in it. Warms the knees and big muscles. DOES NOT PROVIDE TEMP WARMTH. If you get cold, you will know it. Voler has a windbreaker tight fitting jacket with side airvents, has Santini winter bibs wind stopper front panels, fleeced inside, excellent piece of gear and they are padded. Mine were team gear but he had some plain ones that I belive were the same thing.
try icey hotturtlemoye
Dec 5, 2001 4:21 PM
I raced cyclocross for several years wearing only shorts(with thin layer of plastic over my goods) and put icey hot on my legs. Can't say that it keeps you alot warmer but I hear it is good for your muscles and knees b/c it increases blood flow. I worked well for me.